Maerketing the inbound way involves using various channels to bring potential customers to you, rather than blasting out messages that compete for people’s attention. By identifying who your dream customer is, and creating content specifically designed to appeal to them, inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. Instead of using outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, sending out postcards, printing thousands of brochures and praying for results, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls your target audience toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests and needs, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then further qualify, convert, close, and delight over time.
Attract, convert, close and delight. These are the four principles to inbound marketing.
Stage one: Attract
You don’t want just any traffic to your site, you want the right traffic. How do you determine your “right” people? You start by creating your ideal customer, known as a buyer persona. When developing your buyer persona, you need to drill down to include their goals, challenges, pain points, common objections, as well as personal and demographic information, so you know how to best speak to them. Go ahead and give them a name; Joe is the first mover, always on the lookout for the latest thing, Sarah is the conservative buyer who does extensive research, Paul is the the high touch, relationship based buyer. Think about the other areas of their life, their kids, their jobs, and their hobbies you can tap into to create a connection with them further drawing them to your business.
Blogging, SEO optimization, optimizing website pages, and social media publishing are all ways you can attract the right buyer to your business.
Stage two: Convert
Once you’ve attracted visitors, the next step is to convert them into leads by gathering some contact information, at the very least, an email address. In order for your visitors to provide their contact info, you need to offer up something in return, like tip sheets, tickets to an event, white papers, e-books, discounts, travel guides - whatever information would be interesting and valuable to your buyer persona.
Forms, calls-to-action, landing pages, and organizing contact databases are all ways to help you convert customers.
Stage three: Close
Now what? You’ve attracted the right visitors and gathered contact information, but now you need to convert these leads into customers. Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) like Marketo and HubSpot, closed loop reports and email messaging will help your sales team convert leads into customers.
Stage four: Delight
Word-of-mouth is the best advertising, and there is no better advertiser for your product than a delighted customer. So remember that just because someone has already become a customer doesn’t mean you can forget about them. Companies that excel in Inbound marketing continue to engage with, delight, and upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the organizations and products they love. Use your customers as champions for your business becoming a de facto sales team constantly sharing your company message and benefits.
Tools used to delight customers include customer rewards programs, surveys, smart calls-to-action, smart text and social monitoring.
As you can see, inbound marketing takes time and nurturing. Is inbound right for your business? Give us a call to find out more.